A Ribbleton pharmacy has spoken out about how the nationwide medication shortage is affecting patients and staff.Advertisement
Pharmacists at Imaan Healthcare in Miller Road have been struggling to obtain stock for medications across a range of health areas, including HRT, epilepsy, acne, contraception.
Popular brands like Beechams, Calpol, and Gaviscon, as well as more generic offerings such as Paracetamol, have been affected by supply issues.
The shortages are nationwide, and are affecting all pharmacies throughout the UK.
Imaan says the shortage means pharmacists are having to spend time trying to source medication from wholesalers or other pharmacies.
Despite the extra effort, Imaan says they remain thwarted by staffing issues at wholesaler warehouses and a lack of drivers.
A spokesperson for Imaan Healthcare said: “We would typically place an order expecting to receive medication on the next run, but we have recently experienced missing and incorrect tote boxes, the supply of incorrect medication, and the supply of too little and too much medication.
“This creates extra work and stress for the pharmacy team, who must spend additional time creating credit notes, but it is ultimately the patient who suffers in the end. Unable to receive the medication they need, many patients become angry and direct abuse at pharmacy staff.”
Read more: UCLan lecturer to use science and comedy to share personal experiences of menopause
One Preston resident affected by the shortage is Lauren Melling, who has conditions including ME and asthma Recently she has been unable to obtain an inhaler for her asthma.
Lauren said: “My GP gave me a prescription of Intal over eight weeks ago. Boots in Fishergate were unable to source it so the GP did another prescription for Symbicort, and Boots cannot supply that.
“Four more weeks passed so amid increasing asthma attacks I requested the emergency reliever, Ventolin, hoping they can source that, but an asthma attack can still lead to death.
“What I need to prevent attacks and prevent death or a hospital visit is the preventer, mainly the Intal. At home two of us have asthma and now no medications at all to alleviate it.”
Lauren says people are suffering as many drugs are becoming unavailable.
She added: “Without the medical supply chain functioning, people like us deteriorate and become more vulnerable, causing a worse strain on NHS services.”
Read more: Preston-based Disability Equality project to help disabled people to stay safe at home
Imaan Healthcare says issues with the supply chain have been made worse by rising costs and Brexit.
The spokesperson said: “Supply of most products across all industries have been affected by rising costs of raw materials, staff resources, fuel and energy. The pharmaceutical sector is just one of many affected by these issues.
“Furthermore, we must take into account the impact of Brexit, which contributes to these rising costs.
“With workers returning to their countries of origin, there are no longer enough people available to work difficult jobs at wholesaler depots and distribution centres.”
Boots was approached for comment but did not respond.
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines